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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

who had long ago been men; figures with grey-green visages rather than
living creatures, toothless in the majority of cases, skeletons on which
rags were suspended. While such a collection would not particularly
impress the onlooker in Russia, here, under the sky of Scotland^ the ap-
pearance of these people was incredible in itself. And those who had
come to greet them, the Poles and the British, found it hard to restrain
their emotion.
This first batch from Russia was to be followed by others, and Scotland
listened to their talks, more of death than of life in the cellars of Soviet
dictatorship, where as slaves they had been thrown to rot. It was in
those early days, when hope still existed that all the Poles would be released
according to the concluded treaty, and the Polish Press refrained therefore
from any comment or criticism regarding the condition of their people.
When it later became obvious that the Soviet Government was not
fulfilling the Treaty, that all the Poles were not being released from the
dungeons and labour camps, and furthermore, that only a small per-
centage were getting out of Russia, the Polish Government, to keep the
6 front of the Allies* unshaken, and in order to extract as many of its
citizens as possible, continued to remain silent on this subject. Not only
did it remain silent, but it deliberately suppressed the rising voice of
indignation among the Poles in Great Britain and America. Soldiers
and civilians coming from the Soviet Union were forbidden to relate their
experiences or to discuss Russia. Sikorski hoped that this one-sided
allegiance to the Russian partner would sooner or later be repaid by the
Soviets, and an honest settlement of Polish-Russian affairs would in the
end be achieved. Therefore he publicly underlined the good relations
which he held with Russia and emphasised over and over again the good-
will of' both' parties on all questions.
Russia had her own method and style of diplomacy^ which was linked
with centuries of ceaseless conquest. The first rule of this diplomacy-
was to place exorbitant demands before each neighbour in turn, with the
intention of gradually making him accustomed to them until such time
as these demands could be realised in one way or another.
The Kremlin attempted no other line in relation to SikorsM's Govern-
ment, and one demand followed on the heels of another, one note after
the other, each expressing its own particular interpretation of the para-
graphs of the concluded Treaty and each a complete reversal of all
commitments. In August came the demand to form a division from the
starving Polish ex-prisoners within six weeks and to send them post-haste
to the front. The nest month the Soviets were anxious that a revolt
should be created in the rear of the enemy in German-occupied Poland.
On December i, action was taken to hamper the formation of the Polish
Army in Russia by claiming all Poland's citizens of non-Polish blood as